121115-eld-truck-2-agm.jpg Photo: Aaron Marsh/American Trucker

Leveraging ELDs within the supply chain

Truckers can use ELD data to reduce time spent on paperwork as well as highlight ways their customers can improve the shipping process.

By Wally Stegall, Morey Corp.

From slashing costs to saving time, Wally Stegall, director of business development at Morey Corp., believes electronic logging devices (ELDs) offer truckers a variety of ways to improve their operations as well as supply chain processes overall. With more than 30 years of electronics manufacturing experience, having previously worked with Textrol, VES and AMETEK, Stegall shares his thoughts on the potential of ELDs in the guest column below.

While much has been made of how ELDs can help drivers log hours of service (HOS) information more efficiently, the new rule promises to do plenty more.

For starters, time spent creating paper logs can often put a damper on driver efficiency. Instead of sticking to the road, employees must dedicate a portion of their day to manually logging hours. By introducing data automation, the ELD mandate will make such tasks a thing of the past.

 Drivers can now have their hours instantly recorded without ever putting pen to paper, and while a few minutes each day might not seem like much, those savings add up.

Over the course of a year, drivers can free up dozens of hours that could be better spent making deliveries.

Perhaps even more importantly, data automation helps ensure the accuracy of driver logs. The more reliable such data is, the easier it is to gather relevant insights into the supply chain process.

Tying in engine diagnostic data also helps get ahead of maintenance problems. Whether it’s the number of miles driven or overall hours of operation, electronic logs now can give fleet managers the data needed to work around regular repairs.

Rather than reacting to a dead battery or worn out piston ring, managers can leverage real-time feedback to better predict when such issues might arise.

This proactive approach can go a long way toward combating one of the biggest headaches facing shipping managers — vehicle downtime. All too often, managers are forced to bear the brunt of inactive equipment. But by regularly monitoring fleet performance, they can get vehicles back on the road sooner rather than later.

Then there are complaints over shipment times, which can quickly create confusion in trucking. For example, a customer might accuse a driver of delivering a shipment later than usual, only for the driver to deny it. Settling disputes often proves difficult, especially if there’s no evidence to back up either party’s claim. But now ELDs can help provide just that.

Fleet managers can pinpoint a vehicle’s exact location using mileage as well as geo fencing technology. Not only can this help update shipment arrival times for customers, but it may also open the door to more efficient drop-offs.

Gauging how drivers spend their time at each stop can also shed light on ways to speed up the shipment process.

From raising the bar on efficiency to saving both time and money, this new regulation can help enhance the supply shipping process in more ways than one.

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